Denial is a powerful tool

I’m mostly in denial at the moment – in some ways feeling the “impostor syndrome” that I felt before I had my initial diagnosis.

I know there is something, but part of me is still thinking that just maybe, the biopsy will come back saying we made a mistake and there isn’t any cancer. It is an unlikely outcome and a form of denial. It best describes how my mental mood is right now. I’m feeling like it all isn’t real.

I have another couple of weeks to wait before I’ll have any idea of treatment plans. First I’m waiting on the biopsy results. I hope to have at least preliminary results this week. I’m told that they can do the hormone receptor testing in Kentville, where they sent the sample, but they will need to send it off to Halifax for additional testing (HER2 testing happens there).

My family doctor isn’t completely convinced it is breast cancer. What triggered the whole thing was a blood test that is more of an indicator of a lymphoma. But the surgeon immediately assumed a local recurrence of breast cancer. That is the most likely outcome.

But, I also have a mantra that I’ve used over the last 8 years – “in the absence of a diagnosis, you are healthy”, and in many ways, that is what I’m feeling. I don’t have a diagnosis, so I’m mostly healthy.

I still have a drain. I see the surgeon again tomorrow and hope that it can come out. We are getting close to the time where the risk of infection is higher than the need for drainage.

I went out to Mahone Bay – to Oh My Cod – with a friend yesterday. They make the best gluten free lobster poutine! I’ve been craving it for a while now, so I figured I’d make that my outing for the day. After a lovely lunch, while getting back into the car I tripped on the curb and fell. It was one of the awkward slow motion moments. I had one hand on my leftover poutine, and the other hand on the car door. I’m not exactly sure how I managed to lose my balance, but I started falling backwards, and the hand holding the car door and stabilizing me was my surgical side – so I had to let go. Fortunately, I seem to be fine today. It looks like I might have tugged the drain a little, but nothing problematic. For the most part, I’m not even sore.

I’m looking forward to having the drain gone, and perhaps getting back into some activity. I’ll still need to be careful, but I’ll be able to do a lot more soon. I just need to remember that my body is still healing, so I will tire easily.

Tomorrow will be a bit of a big day. After my surgeon’s appointment, my plan is to go to Costco with my friend (and maybe the Asian food store nearby). Fortunately, she will do all the lifting for me. She will also do all the driving.

Late last week I decided I could drive to the beach (about a half hour). I was fine doing the driving there and back – but the next day I was in crazy pain. It was way too much. I’m not quite ready to take on driving again, but I’m happy to be a passenger – especially cause her car has great seats that feel like I’m been hugged. I feel more like I can relax.

And so, I’m mostly living in a world of denial while I wait for word of a diagnosis. Wednesday will be two weeks since surgery, so the information could filter in at any point.

  • Becky

One Comment

  • Thinking of you often Rebecca! When you write about all the parts of your life right now — a trip to get a favorite lobster dish (and then an unexpected fall) feelings of denial and hope… it helps me imagine what this feels like for you, especially the waiting parts that take extra strength it seems. Donna

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